WHISKEY vs WHISKY

By: Scott Ritenbaugh

Perhaps you’ve noticed that there are two different ways that whiskey/whisky is spelled with and without an “E”. This can be traced back to the earliest of whiskey producers, the Scotch and Irish, who used different spellings to distinguish themselves from one another. As more countries began producing whiskey, different traditions used one spelling or the other.

There’s an easy general rule as to which countries use which spelling. Of the major Whiskey producing countries, like the United States, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Japan, If the country has an “E” in it, they spell whiskey with an “E”; if it doesn’t have an “E”, then it’s spelled Without an “E”. There are always exceptions to this rule, like Maker’s Mark and Old Forester, both American made whiskeys that use the spelling without an “E” as a way to pay homage to their Scotch heritage.

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